Sarcoma Survivor Stories

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“Always stay positive” says Ewing Sarcoma Survivor

ewing sarcoma survivor Graziano Roberto Ricco was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma on 18th December 2011. He has now successfully defeated cancer and asks other fighters to stay positive most of the times.

Favorite Quote

“Gratitude, recognition, appreciation – no matter what words you use, it always runs out on’s same: Be happy. Actually, we should be happy; and thankful for the friends, family. Thankful for being alive. Whether we enjoy it or not. Maybe we are not destined to be happy. Maybe thankfulness has nothing to do with happiness. Gratitude may simply mean seeing what you have as it really is. You have to enjoy the small victories. And acknowledge how hard it takes to be human. Maybe we are grateful for the singing that we will never know. Basically, the very fact that we have the courage to go on is enough reason to celebrate.” from Grey’s Anatomy

The Diagnosis

“On 18.12.2011 I was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma. Randomly taken x-rays. In Luxembourg in the hospital Kirchberg of Dr. med. Schummarcher.”

The Journey ewing sarcoma survivor's journey “It started with me being in school and writing an exam. Suddenly I got chest pain and the symptoms as in a heart attack. (This was clear to me, because I am a volunteer at the fire brigade and rescue service.) So, I asked the professor if I could go to the hospital. In the hospital then an ECG and X-rays were created. It turned out that it was just a Muskelentzüng. However, I have to go back to the X-ray. Then to the pulmonologist. He told me the first time that there was something wrong. After biopsy it was very fast on 18.12, the diagnosis was made. On 27.12 I got my port and the first 4 hours chemo. The chemo I got every 3 weeks. Once outpatient for 4 hours. Once 5 days in the hospital every day 4-6 hours. All the while I went to school in normal style and working finished my apprenticeship as a draftsman. And at the fire and rescue service, I then just took photos of the missions or helped in the background. After 6 sessions I took a break of 1 month so I could recover for the surgery. For the operation I went to Heidelberg in the university clinic for thorax. There, my tumor was removed as well as the complete 4th rib left and a tennis ball hunk of the lung. After 2 weeks, I was allowed to return home. There I was allowed to rest again for 1 month before I went on with the chemo this time but 8 sessions. In the whole time I was actually quite well, I continued my normal life as if nothing was. I trust the medicine. And pretty much what you should do either the therapy or not. I was never bad during the whole time nor have I been handed over. The only thing was after the 3 or 4 meeting everything tasted metallic. Then I discovered that everything was spicy or I ate it with chilly or other spicy food was delicious.”

Biggest Hindrance

“The family and friends … They worried more than me. That was hard to watch.”

Motivation to fight cancer

“All in all, I had no motivation to fight at all. I did not care about it. I thought I had almost everything experienced and made what I wanted to experience so far. So, either the plan of the doctor works or he does not work and my time has come to trot down.”

Message to other fighters

message for cancer patients “Always think and stay positive. Continue everyday life as before, if possible.”

Dermatofibrosarcoma Survivor Says Every Emotion Is Valid

Dermatofibrosarcoma Survivor
“No pain we endure, No trial we Experience is ever wasted” – Orsion F. Whitney
Megan was diagnosed with sarcoma on March 10th, 2017. She has successfully defeated her disease.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“I was diagnosed March 10th, 2017. Doctors were convinced that the tumor on my ribcage/flank area was benign and was removing it for purely cosmetic purposes. 4 days after surgery I got the call that the tumor was actually a very rare form of cancer (dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans). So rare it is actually nicknamed “unicorn cancer”
 
The Journey
Dermatofibrosarcoma Survivor's Journey
“My journey with cancer was brief, terrifying, and life changing! The surgeon in my hometown who originally removed the tumor wanted to remove the rest of the cancerous tissue in my body. But something didn’t feel right. So I literally canceled the surgery 2 days before I was supposed to get it. Drove 3 hours to my states cancer center. And went to the sarcoma clinic with a sticky note in my hand (that said what my cancer was because I couldn’t pronounce it) and asked if I could see one of the doctors there. Greatly I was set up with one of their sarcoma surgeons, who surprisingly enough was one of 3 surgeons in the United States who specializes in DFSP. We gratefully were able to get scans done the next week to see just how deep cancer had set. And have my second and final cancer surgery 2 weeks after my initial appointment. Cancer went all the way through all 7 layers of skin, down to the facia and was SUPER close to being in my lungs, so it is a HUGE blessing that we found cancer when we did.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“I have multiple life-threatening chronic illnesses. And after my initial cancer diagnosis, my main thought was ‘No way, after all, I’ve been through am I going to let cancer be the end to my story!’.”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“My journey with cancer was thankfully short and chemo free. But my biggest hindrance was the fear that comes with a cancer diagnosis. Hearing the words ‘you have cancer’ changes everything.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
Message for cancer patients
“Cancer taught me that every emotion is valid. Don’t put on a brave face 24/7. You have to let yourself feel. Your life has forever been changed. You have to let yourself cry, grief, scream and fully process everything that comes with a cancer diagnosis.”

Angiosarcoma Survivor Is Now An Author

Angiosarcoma Survivor Is Now An Author
” For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39
Marissa Henley was diagnosed with angiosarcoma in October 2010. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is the author of “Loving Your Friend through Cancer”.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“I found a lump in my breast in October 2010. Two weeks later, a biopsy revealed that it wasn’t breast cancer. It was rare cancer called angiosarcoma. I was diagnosed the day before my 34th birthday and had three young children.”
 
The Journey
 
Angiosarcoma Survivor's Journey
“Because the cancer was rare and the prognosis was not good, I was treated at MD Anderson Cancer Center, 600 miles from my home. I received 7 rounds of chemo, five weeks of radiation, and surgery. After my first two rounds of chemo, all the rest of my treatment took place at MD Anderson. I also received a clinical trial drug during most of my rounds of chemo. I have been NED since July 2011. Because of all the time I spent in Houston–14 weeks over the course of six months–our young family faced a lot of challenges. The Lord was faithful to meet every one of our needs, often through the sacrificial service of our friends and family. They were so amazing that I’ve written a book to equip friends of cancer-fighters to support their friends the way my friends supported me.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“When I was diagnosed, my boys were 6 and 4, and my baby girl was 18 months old. I begged the Lord to allow me to live long enough for my daughter to remember me. I wanted more time with my husband and kids. I never expected to have these many years, and I’m thankful for every day I spend with my family.”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“I was heartbroken to be away from my kids so much when I didn’t know how much time I had left with them. I missed all three of their birthdays that year, and those were three of the hardest days for me. We traded those months with the hope of gaining years, and I’m so thankful to have been with them for so many birthdays since.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
 
Message for cancer patients
“Take one day at a time — it is overwhelming enough just facing one day with cancer without looking too far ahead. And don’t be afraid to ask others for help. Your friends are suffering with you, and they will be blessed by the opportunity to serve you.

Stage 3 Sarcoma Survivor Is Now A Blogger

Stage 3 Sarcoma Survivor Is Now A Blogger
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” -Romans 12:12
Nicole Body was diagnosed sarcoma in July 2017. She has successfully defeated her disease. She runs a blog and is spreading cancer awareness.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“I was diagnosed with stage 3 sarcoma cancer in July 2017 when my gallbladder was having symptoms. The discovery of the tumor resting on my pancreas was found at this time.”
 
The Journey
 
Stage 3 Sarcoma Survivor's Journey
“After diagnosis in July 2017, my husband and I relocated to Houston for me to receive chemo and surgery. We were there during Hurricane Harvey and the devastation was terrible in addition to the difficulties of fighting cancer so we really pressed into our faith and our relationship with each other to fight through the hard times. On December 13, 2017, I was to have the Whipple Procedure. A 9-inch incision was made to remove cancer only to stun my surgeon that even though a tumor showed up on the last CT scan, he could not find a trace of cancer anywhere. So as of that day, I have been cancer free by a miracle from God!”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“I was motivated to fight cancer for lots of reasons. I am so in love with my husband and cherish every moment I get to have with him! I also fought for my family, friends, and the cancer fighters and those who have lost loved ones from cancer. Every breath that God has given me, I am thankful and want to live life fully! “
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“Hurricane Harvey was so difficult to face for many reasons. That was hard to watch and to be so sick and feel so helpless was difficult. We had the opportunity to make a meal for a family affected by it but I was too sick to do much else but pray. Chemo was painful and exhausting causing a wide array of side effects and ER trips. The hardest part was probably when I developed a blood clot in my right jugular vein. But all of these things, we worked hard to pushed through and kept in the fight and found joy all around us. We never gave up and we never will.”
 
Message to other fighters
Message for cancer patients
“You are not alone. You are loved, beautiful with or without hair, and you can do this. Days will be hard and tears may come, but there will be good days and blessings that will lift you up when you need it most. God is with you and you are in my prayers each night!”

Vaginal Cancer (Rhabdomysarcoma) Survivor Shares Her Amazing And Inspiring Journey

Vaginal Cancer (Rhabdomysarcoma) Survivor
Jearlean Taylor was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is a published author, NAACP hometown hero nominee, Speaker, Model Coach and Ostomy advocate.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“At the age of 2 1/2 years old, I developed a rare form of vaginal cancer (Rhabdomysarcoma). As a result of cancer, I have permanent colostomy and urostomy, which aids my bladder and bowel functions, which cause me to wear ostomy bags for rest of my life.”
 
The Journey
Vaginal Cancer (Rhabdomysarcoma) Survivor's Journey
“My heart’s desire has always been to make a difference in people lives, but there was something internally that was unstable in my life. My mind, body, and soul longed for answers. My outer beauty was evident of a blessed person, but I was suffering on the inside with low self-esteem, pity, and unhappiness. Could my beauty cover up my hurt? I would say my problem was cancer, but my disease was what I called “Pretty Girl Blues”. Was this a label I put on myself or allowed other to give me? Through my journey and my faith, I discovered who I could be in spite of my medical circumstances. My insecurities did not change overnight, but I learned to be a survivor.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“I later discovered my biggest motivation to fight cancer was to show others we do not have to be defined by our circumstances. I was very young when I had cancer, but the fighter in me never changed. I was determined to show people what a miracle look like. We all have a purpose and a journey to follow. We must find it to help motivate and inspire others. “
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“My biggest hindrance was loving me just as I was including my “bags”. No one could imagine my difficulties, low self-esteem, disappointments, insecurities, too many surgeries, and my problem with loving me.”
 
Message to other fighters
Message for cancer patients
“I continue to help cancer and ostomy patients, those suffering with low-self-esteem by encouraging, empowering, and inspiring. I believe “LIFE” goes on even in the midst of unforeseen circumstances. My message to cancer patients is to keep pressing, moving forward, and realize you can help someone else. Live your life on purpose with a purpose for a purpose.”

GIST Survivor Now An Author And Motivational Speaker

“ When I believe in something, I fight like hell for it!” -Steve Mcqueen
Merak was diagnosed with genetic GIST cancer. He has successfully defeated his disease. He is an Author and Motivational Speaker and also hosts MMMotivate podcast. He started MMMotivate to help motivate and inspire other cancer patients.
 
The Diagnosis
 
He was diagnosed in November 2014, through his Doctor’s Phone Call.
 
The Journey
 
“My dad was diagnosed with cancer shortly before me. He was given months to live and ended up living 4 years. It was soon after his diagnosis discovered that it was a generic form of cancer. I found out after being out of breath and anaemic, I indeed had cancer. I was diagnosed with genetic GIST cancer (pronounced JIST), meaning my type of cancer was considered incurable. I have had 4 surgeries over a 4 year span. 2 partial gastrectomies (2014,2015), a total gastrectomy in 2016, lasting nearly 10 hours. Then I had an emergency splenectomy this year 2018, after nearly bleeding out as it ruptured (my spleen). I’ve had dozens of transfusions, countless scans, blood tests, ER visits, minor procedures, 22 rounds of chemo, and all the other things that go with having cancer. Now as my fight nears 4 years in October, I can reflect on how lucky I am. I don’t have a stomach, gallbladder, spleen, part of my liver, but I still keep fighting and trying to live a normal life. I’m lucky to be able to do most of what I want to in terms of travel and experiences.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My biggest motivation to fight cancer was for 3 people. 1st my father. We lost him a year ago after he lived for 4 years after being told he only had months to live. He was a titan, took no BS from anyone, and kept his head down and just worked. Over 30 rounds or chemo, completing the tour of palm springs centenial 100 mile race the day AFTER CHEMO, he was strong as strong could be. Next my mom, who is my biggest supporter, fighting to raise money for gist cancer research and who never leaves my side whenever I am in the hospital or ER. She has the patience of a saint and a heart of gold. Last but not least my beautiful girlfriend who has stuck with me through the whole experience, all 4 years. She makes me want to be well and thrive and beat this disease. She is beautiful, supportive, smart, and loving!”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“The biggest hindrance has to be the nature of my cancer. We finally found a chemo that worked after trying 4, but I am still not cured, and the fight is very much ON for the foreseeable future. I have to stay vigilant and do all that i can to care for myself and stay healthy. We still have faith a cure will be found and will work on my type of GIST CANCER”
 
Message to other fighters
 
“My message would have to be: DONT settle for someone saying you are finished, meaning a doctor. Both me and my father were told we would die from our cancers, my father quickly. Everyone’s case is different, so I say to you hold your head up high and always be ready to fight it out and have faith in a positive outcome. You never know what will happen!”

Liposarcoma Survivor Becomes An Author

Liposarcoma Survivor Becomes An Author
LIPOSARCOMA SURVIVOR BECOMES AN AUTHOR
Marie was diagnosed with myxoid liposarcoma but she has now successfully defeated her disease. She kicked cancer out of her life and became an author of ‘Dare to Choose – A Journey Of Self Healing’.
 
The Journey
 
Liposarcoma Survivor's Journey
“I was diagnosed with myxoid liposarcoma, a rare form of cancer with little survival rates on treatment. I was told to go home and get my affairs in order. I decided to go on a natural healing journey. Surgeon removed the tumors except for one as it was a difficult operation to perform. I visualized that tumor disappearing and after 6 months there was no trace of it on any scans! I have had a hip Replacement, femur replacement, several tumors removed from my breasts and a whipple’s procedure. I took up meditation, visualization, changed my diet to an alkaline diet eliminating all red meat, chicken Dairy, gluten and preservatives. Exercise became a part of my everyday routine. I changed my thoughts and became a more positive person in order to heal my body. I knew my life depended on me making better choices. I’m also an author and wrote a book about my journey- Dare to Choose.: Dare to Choose chronicles author Marie Chronopoulos story as a cancer survivor, recounting the moments following the devastating news and the incredible life transformation that she underwent to take back control of her body and her fate. She turned her disease into an opportunity to become the best version of herself she could possibly be. Life is about choices, believing in yourself, and having the courage to face all of your fears. No matter what we are facing it’s up to you how you react, what you accept, and what you believe. Marie wrote Dare to Choose with the belief that someday she would have a success story to tell, an inspirational story to cheer people on and help them bear witness to their own journey. She wants readers to understand that no matter what they are facing or going through in life they have the power to make changes and create new miracles in their lives by choosing to change the story they are believing and telling themselves.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My children, and to inspire others facing the same journey.”
 
The biggest hindrance
 
“Negative people.”
 
Message to other fighters
Message for cancer patients
“Believe in yourself, believe in healing no matter what! Live life on your terms. Change your thoughts, change your life. Only choose things that serve you well and research, take control of your journey. You may have cancer but hey it’s your journey, you own it, you live it the best you can and believe in miracles because they do happen like magic… I’m A perfect example of that!”

Soft Tissue Sarcoma Fighter Who Is A Director And A Writer

Soft Tissue Sarcoma Fighter is Director and Writer
“You are always a person, a friend, a partner with a illness, never just an illness with a person attached. Always remember that.”
Shauna O’Toole was diagnosed with Fibromatosis, a rare soft tissue sarcoma in April 2016. She is fighting her disease. She is a Director and a Writer.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“10 years ago when I was 13 I found a lump on my groin. My parents were very very ill so I didn’t want to add any more stress to my family. So instead I kept it hidden as it grew in size. When I was 21 (2016) I met my finacè who convinced me to go and do something about it. So after 3 months of biopsies I was diagnosed in April with Fibromatosis, a rare soft tissue sarcoma.”
 
The Journey
 
Soft Tissue Sarcoma Fighter's Journey
“I spent a lot of time in the unknown, not knowing if I would wake up in the morning, when you start living like that you start living each day like it might be your last. So since I was 13 that’s been my motto. I’m sick, but I am me first and I will do everything I can and want to even though I am ill.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My partner and my family. I don’t have an awful lot of self-worth but they make me want to fight it harder and harder. I want a normal life and they want me to live a normal life and I will do anything to get that done.”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“My mobility is shot, I’m in pain 99% of my life and I’m constantly in and out of hospital with sepsis of the kidneys. Above all else my depression tells me that is any of it, the treatments, hospitals… Are they worth it. Although these things hinder me I still graduated from university this year and I never once let it try and stop me.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
 
Message for cancer patients
“You need to realize you are unstoppable. You are living every day with something most people can’t even begin to imagine and yet, you can still find the energy to smile. It’s amazing. You are amazing.”
 

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